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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

cose politicians and journalists were fond of using the
word "crusade". But the "chivalry" (which I'd seen
in epitome at the Army School) had been mown down
and blown up in July, August, and September, and
its remnant had finished the year's "crusade" in a
morass of torment and frustration. Yet I was haunted
by the memory of those Flixecourt weeks—almost as
though I were remembering a time when I'd been in
love. Was it with life that I'd been in love then?—for
the days had seemed saturated with the fecundity of
physical health and fine weather, and it had been
almost as if my own germinant aliveness were inter-
fused with some sacrificial rite which was to celebrate
the harvest. "Germinating and German-hating," I
thought, recovering my sense of reality with a feeble
joke. After that I fell asleep.

I had an uncomfortable habit of remembering,
when I woke up in the morning, that the War was still
going on and waiting for me to go back to it; but apart
from that and the times when my inmost thoughts got
the upper hand of me, life at the Camp was compara-
tively cheerful, and I allowed myself to be carried
along by its noisy current of good-humoured life. At
the end of each day I found consolation in the fact that
I had shortened the winter, for the new year had be-
gun with a spell of perishing cold weather. Our First
Battalion, which had been up to its neck in mud
in front of Beaumont-Hamel, was now experiencing
fifteen degrees of frost while carrying on minor opera-
tions connected with straightening the line. Dottrell
wrote that they "weren't thinking beyond the mail
and the rum ration", and advised me to stay away